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Sharing in Outlook depends on what you want to share and the type of access you want to give the people you’re sharing with.

For example, you can share a single mailbox across several individuals where all incoming and outgoing mail are from that mailbox. Or you can share one or more folders, or your entire mailbox with others. You can even allow others the ability to manage your calendar or mailbox.

When you grant someone permission to manage your mailbox, you're granting them delegate permissions. This goes beyond edit privileges and is what allows someone to send or respond to mail or calendar items on your behalf. In special cases, you can even allow full management of your mailbox and calendar where your delegate has permissions to act as you when creating or responding to messages or events. To learn more about delegates see About delegates: Allow someone else to manage your mail and calendar in Outlook.

If and how you can access these various sharing options in Outlook also depends on the type of account you're using. For example, some sharing options are limited to work or school accounts used in an organization. Other options, such as calendar sharing, have broader access and can also be done with a personal account such as an or account.

Different ways to share in Outlook

The table below describes the different ways to share in Outlook, the type of account required, and whether or not you need your organization's IT Admin to set this up for you.

Type of sharing


Example scenarios

Type of account

Requires IT admin setup

Shared mailbox

A shared mailbox provides group or individual access to the entire mailbox. This includes mailbox content such as folders, calendars, and contacts. 

When a person in the group replies to a message sent to the shared mailbox, the email appears to be from the shared address, not from an individual user. 

Permissions in shared mailboxes can differ between members.

A customer service team wants a single mailbox where all incoming and outgoing email goes to

Any member of the customer service team with access to the shared mailbox can receive and respond to messages. Replies are always sent from no matter who from the group responds to the message.

Work or school accounts

Yes, requires admin setup.

The admin will assign permissions to all users who need access to the shared mailbox.

Shared calendars

Shared calendars are limited to the calendar folder within your mailbox.

You can choose to share your calendar with one person or multiple people. Permissions can differ between people you’re sharing your calendar with and also depends on the account you're using to share your calendar. 

Some aspects of sharing calendars are limited to work or school accounts only.

You might want to share calendars with schedulers, Executive admins, co-workers, friends, family, or other trusted individuals.

Work or school and personal accounts

No admin setup required.

In most cases, you can select the calendar you want to share and assign permissions from within Outlook.

If you're using a work or school account, you can grant delegate privileges which allows a delegate to send and respond to meeting invites on your behalf.

Shared folders

Choose to share one or more folders in your mailbox with other people in your organization. You can set the level of access to each person you're sharing with by granting view-only, edit, or delegation privileges.

There are two types of delegation privileges. You can choose to have people send on your behalf, or send as you.

Scenario 1: You want to share a folder with view only privileges. For example, you're managing a project and want to give someone on your team access to all the emails in that folder. You can allow this person the ability to respond to messages, but they can only respond as themselves, not on your behalf.

Scenario 2: A manager assigns delegate privileges to their assistant, so the assistant can monitor and respond to emails on their behalf. Or they want the assistant to have complete management of their mailbox and give them Send as permissions. In both instances, the manager can choose to share their entire mailbox (including their calendar), or share selected folders only.

Work or school accounts

Depending on how you want others to access, admin setup may be required.

You can share folders with other individuals in your organization. This includes adding someone as a delegate and granting them Send on behalf of privileges.

However, to grant Send as privileges to someone, you must contact the IT admin responsible for managing Outlook in your organization to set this up for you.

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